(1938-12-12) Some Things Change, Others Don't
Details for Some Things Change, Others Don't
Summary: Duncan and Rhyeline meet by chance in the Leaky Cauldron, and catch up a little bit on old times and new.
Date: 1938-12-12
Location: Leaky Cauldron

It was a usual thursday. With holidays around the corner, those that don't spend much time with family for one reason or another seem to be out in a spiral of festive decay in the bars. One of these establishments is the Leaky Cauldron. Duncan seems to be the odd one out, with many of the patrons being older gentlemen, and a small group of youngsters.. a few squibs.. finding their footing in adult society. Or spending their week's pay from the week prior to wash away the sorrows of working this next seven day stretch. Duncan is at the bar, a few stools between himself and the next patrons, all the way at the end of the long bar at one side of the room. Nearest him is that same group of squib youngsters that are pointing at the other patrons and snickering, but they've kept to themselves so far. As has Duncan Potter. Other than a few people coming up to him with smiles and well-wishings.. sometimes well-wishings for the other teams he plays against. Oh well, can't win them all. It's evening, after most people have gotten off of work and headed home.

Rhyeline warms her hands against the sides of a glass of mulled wine. The little mouse has managed to avoid the notice of the squib youngsters thus far. A glass of mulled wine warms her hands as she stands near the fireplace, gazing into its flames. All tables are taken tonight, but the little one lingers all the same. Should one's eyes be keen enough to notice the delicate creature, the witch standing not far from her might draw notice as well. She watches any who passes near the girl with narrowed look of a lynx.

Duncan wasn't the first to notice the little witch. But he probably won't be the last. A look down the length of the bar and to the fireplace his eyes eventually settle. He notices Rhyeline. And it doesn't take long to recognize her. She was almost the same height as when he had known her in school. A long arm raises in a wave and a gesture for her to come over and sit. The bar length was too long for him to shout and it not be uncouth. He was a roughhouse, but at least somewhat of a gentlemen.

Rhyeline notices the wave out of the corner of her eye and a bit hesitant, she peeks over. The touch of caution in her eyes seems far calmer than he will remember. She was always a fragile little thing, as if the slightest touch might bruise her. The witch keeping an eye on her fixes Duncan with a steady stare.

Hands clasped behind her back, Rhyeline approaches. Though his quidditch captain had pressed Rhyeline into helping Duncan pass his exams for several years, he probably hasn't heard her speak more than a few times. However, as she reaches him, her voice lifts soft and sweet to just barely carry over the din. "Hello…"

He gestures to the stool that she may as well have a rope-ladder to get into. And boy was he thankful his captain back then had been so hard pressed to keep him on the team. "Good evening. It's been a while since I've seen you. How have you been?" He calls over the bartender to get himself another three fingers of whatever liquer he was sipping on and whatever she wanted. Money paid up front. "Keep mine coming," he notes to the tender.

Rhyeline sets down her glass and places her hands upon the bar to help herself climb up onto the stool with a slow, careful grace. Once settled, she crosses her ankles and takes up her mulled wine once more. "I've been well… And… you? A quidditch player. No?" So many words. And at the end, she even offers him a rather shy smile.

He smiles as well. "Yes," a prolific nod, "and in no small part to passing, I might add." He raises his glass to her in an unspoken toast before he takes another draught from the glass, setting it on the counter. "I heard you got a job at the ministry. But that was about it. And, something bad happened or some such?" He looks at her with no small amount of concern, but it was unsubstantiated friend of a friend heard from his sister's brother-in-law that something happened to her. Something bad.

Rhyeline's soft smile grows a bit when he raises his glass. A subtle blush warms her fair features, as it often would when she was embarressed or under pressure. Except now, there is a shy, appreciative warmth in her eyes as she gives a small nod. At the mention of trouble, however, her smile fades. Ever expressive, her dark gaze tells him at once that the rumors were true. Lowering her gaze, she takes a small sip of mulled wine before she murmurs, "Yes… well… I suppose now, I- I'm a bit of a researcher…" She peeks up at him.

He immediately regrets the decision of bringing it up. A bit of an embarassed nod, and looking back to his drink. Them sitting next to each other, he probably dwarfs her at 6'4", to her 5'1". "Oh? What do you research, if I may inquire?" Good, subject change. Let's not toil on the darker parts of the past.

"Mmm… current events… I work for Cassius Malfoy, you see…" Rhyeline lowers her gaze once more, a touch apprehensive of his reaction. Politics- a topic even more delicate than her recent past. In this charged climate, the mention of the Unity Party's leader is sure to stirr up some strong feeling or another, unless one has absolutely no interest in the rise of Grindelwald on the continent or the recent, violent riots in Diagon Alley.

Duncan was one that straddled no fences, and took no sides. He only cared to populate the stands of people enjoying watching a game. Maybe that was a side all in itself. The Quidditchist Party. Have fun, don't hate.
Past that, he nods. "Ah, and how's that going for you?" He didn't sway one way or the other, his tone in speaking remaining the same conversational tone as though talking to an old friend. Which, for all intents and purposes, they were pretty much old friends. Or at least knew one another somewhat. Even though she always just took the book from him and pointed at the paragraph he'd need to read to find the answer. Such quiet study sessions those were.

Rhyeline peeks back up at him, seeming encouraged by his continued relaxed manner. "It's… Mm… that's… a complicated question. But… Cassius, he- he has been very kind to me." Perhaps, judging by how her blush deepens and she hides behind her glass of mulled wine, this is quite the understatement.

Duncan smiles, knowing that kind of blush and hiding nature. He's seen it before in shy girls. He's decided not to pick today though. "Well, that's very nice of him." Keep it platonic-sounding might help her get through this.. shy attack.
By now the squibb lads had muttered enough about what she's doing, and had gotten out of their seats. Duncan leans back on his stool, since he saw them coming from the other side of Rhye, and just gives them a look, and shakes his head. He knew their look as well, having seen it before in the eyes of.. well that's not a matter! He looks at her and gives a warm, cheery smile. The boys had thought twice about starting trouble, today!
"So you like your position and work, then?" Another sip from his glass.

Rhyeline peeks back up at him, just in time to catch the look of warning he sends someone behind her. Not far away, the witch watching the girl is able to take her hand off her wand once the squib boys retreat to a safer distance. The little one glances just in time to see their retreat. Peeking back up at him, she hesitates a moment. Was he always so tall? "Yes… very much. I- I worked at first with the IMC… but… when- when diplomatic negotiations broke down, I- I wanted to find something else… something else to help ease the- the conflict growing on the continent…"

Duncan smiles bigger now, "Well, look at you! Saving the world, one day at a time." And he takes another sip of his drink. How did she stay so short? "You know, this is the most I've ever heard you talk?" A little chuckle. It's been what now, at least two years? Maybe a little less than that. Shortly after graduation probably. "It's really good to see you, Rhye." A nickname he couldn't remember if she tolerated or not.

That particular name had always gotten a reaction- a pause with a deepening blush. The same happens now. At least that much hasn't changed. Shifting upon the stool, she takes another small sip of wine. Not looking up at him, she nods and murmurs, "It's good to see you as well… And… and yes, I- I'm a bit better about… about speaking up now…"

Duncan was always one that could handle comfortable silence. He did it for years during tutoring. Not much has changed since then. He would sit there in the quiet of the bar for the next few minutes unless she had something else to say. Other than that, smalltalk wasn't a strong point of his, either. He did say one thing before the quiet settled over them, "Good for you, Rhye." With a dignified and kind smile of his that often times got a reaction from ladies who followed his sport enough to know something about him. Or at least like to watch him play.

Rhyeline sets down her empty glass at last. Tucking a loose wisp of a curl behind her ear, she peeks up at him again at last. "It was nice to see you, Duncan… and… congratulations on- on the Quidditch career…"

He nods, getting another fill from the tender before he raises his glass to her again. "Many thanks. And you, on your course of changing the world." A knowing smile. "I hope you find success in your own course." A long sip from the glass. And he starts bugging the tender for a minute about what that drink was, and if he could get a bottle of it. He's got a party he has to get to!

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